DIY Wedding

The title I just wrote, DIY Wedding, scares me!

I give major props to the girls who have planned their whole wedding but that stress just was not for me. For my wedding, I hired a very talented wedding planner, Kelly Cavanaugh from Clementine Custom Events (click). Kelly took on the major parts of planning my wedding (contracts, menus, vendors) but really supported me when I wanted to do some DIY projects. I tried hard to find a balance so I could feel involved but not stressed. For example, I painted my own watercolor place cards but had someone else do the calligraphy. It was little things like that that helped me feel like I really contributed to my wedding but without all the chaos associated with planning. I am forever thankful to have had Kelly facilitate the entire process but I know that’s not possible for everyone, so I wanted to share some cute little things that you can incorporate into your wedding to make it as uniquely YOU and special as possible. (HEY– You can follow Kelly and her team’s amazing weddings on instagram. Her username is clementinechicago)

photo taken by Pen/Carlson

photo taken by Pen/Carlson

For the fun and boozy couples out there, I think custom koozies are an adorable idea. I loved these ones on etsy. The price is also right — $2.50 for 100 or $1.50 for 200! Nice! This store also has tons of options and I am loving the ones that incorporate the states — if you are your spouse are from different states then you could have a koozie from each state in different colors. It doubles as a fun party accessory and wedding favor. I have gotten a couple of koozies from weddings throughout the years and I have saved them all. Love them.

 

DIY Wedding

Having a photo booth? Great! They are so fun! Etsy has some awesome photo booth props for awesome prices. I like these foam ones with the glitter accents a lot. MJ and I also got a ton of funny hats from OrientalTrading Company. People took them home at the end of the night and we got some hilarious pictures of our friends walking home wearing coconut bras at the end of the night.

FOAM Waterproof Durable Photo Booth Props / Wedding photo booth props / Birthday photo booth props / Photobooth props/ Photobooth Party

 

MJ and I had some custom match boxes made because we collect matches from fancy restaurants that we go to. No, we don’t smoke, but yes, we do like mementos. Etsy has a ton of options but I think these ones are adorable for an affordable price. You can place these in a clear glass vase/jar near the exits so those who do smoke can find them easily as they walk outside.

I MET MY MATCH Personalized Wedding Match Boxes, Set of 50 - Wedding Favors, Party Favors, Custom Wedding Matches, Foil Stamped Match Boxes

Are you a super DIY person? Really into it? Have the time? Then use decorationinspriation from bhldn.com. I am obsessed with their garland options and think these would look amazing placed up against a boring wall. Ahh. I want them! You could totally use these as a DIY photo booth back drop too.

DIY Wedding

If I had one piece of advice for all the brides and grooms out there, I would say that you need to effectively manage your time, especially if you’re going to do a lot of DIY projects. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your bridal party for help. On the day of the wedding, need someone to tie ribbons on the back of your dinner seats? Ask your favorite aunt to help you. Don’t ask one person to do everything, but one person can do a few things and really make a big difference on the big day. Speaking of ribbons on the back of dinner seats, look how cute that can be!

Photo courtesy of: http://www.weddingomania.com/28-chair-decor-ideas-with-fabric-and-ribbons/

Finally, never underestimate the value of well placed twinkle lights. If MJ and I had done a DIY wedding, there would have been so many twinkle lights that our guests would have had to wear sunglasses. But really, it can be so beautiful and cost effective. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I google “twinkle light weddings” and then I’m happy again. The photos are stunning!

photo from heartlovealways.com


photo from greenweddingshoes.com

I was obsessed with my wedding and it was everything I had ever dreamed of (mostly thanks to Kelly), but I loved it all so much that I wish I could do it over and over again! Are you loving these adorable ways to spice up your wedding? Want more?! I’m full of them! Anyone interested in how I made my placecards?! Let me know in the comments below. xo

DIY: Kitchen Command Center

My instagram posts of my DIY Kitchen Command Center have been getting a lot of buzz. Since it is still a work in progress, I’m not ready to do an in depth post about it just yet but I wanted to show you the products I have been using to create this space and also go over what I plan to use the area for.

In our kitchen, MJ and I have a blank cabinet wall that surrounds our refrigerator. The blank space drove me nuts. I knew that it needed a purpose but I didn’t want to drill any holes into our kitchen cabinets or place any art there. Over the last few months I have noticed that we have tons of paper, pens, check books, bills, etc all over our kitchen. I do have a little corner that has a paper tray and a desk organizer to place my stamps, pens, yada yada…but it still wasn’t enough organization. Pinterest has helped me realize that I needed a Kitchen Command Center though I really hate that name. Basically, we needed structure and organization so we could have our most used items in our kitchen without it looking cluttered. So far we have put up a calendar and some file baskets and already it has made a huge difference.

PART I: DIY KITCHEN COMMAND CENTER

 

For the calendar, I needed something less than 26″ but still very functional. I found the perfect dry erase calendar at Office Depot. It has a full monthly calendar that I can write in our plans for the entire month and also a section for Notes and a pin board for any Save the Dates or baby shower invites that we have received. It was $30 and for me, totally worth the price. You can find the exact calendar here. Next, I took a clear blue solo cup and pinned it to the cork board section and there I placed a bunch of different colored dry erase markers (purchase here). Eventually we may come up with a color system, for example, my schedule in pink, his in blue, but we just aren’t there yet. Right now, I’m enjoying coloring the calendar and making cute pictures. That might not be important to you though, so yeah, you do you :). MJ keeps his own work calendar in his phone but I write both mine and his in an Erin Condren planner that comes with me everywhere. This dry erase calendar though, has been a great addition because it is a quick and easy way for each of us to see our plans as a couple without having to double check with the other person. Easy easy easy!!!

PART I: DIY KITCHEN COMMAND CENTER

The most recent addition to our Command Center has been hanging file holders. I bought these ones on amazon for $13 each. When they first arrived I wasn’t sure if they would be a good fit because they looked like something I might see in a doctor’s office or something, but when I hung them up and placed in my cute file folders (again, Office Depot..click here for the similar ones) they were absolutely perfect for the space! I think that anything wood or too heavy would have taken away from the look I am going for, which is organized, light, and clean looking. We have not yet put labels on the file folders because we want them to present themselves organically, meaning, I don’t want to label a folder as “receipts” if we will naturally use a different space for that. I am guessing that over time we will end up with a file for bills to be paid, bills paid, receipts, invitations, warranties, envelopes and stamps, etc. Any suggestions??? Meanwhile, we have placed a calendar at the front of the file holder where we can write our future plans like wedding dates and birthdays and reference that when it’s time to put that month on the dry erase board. I got ours at Office Depot again but I can’t find it online. This one will work just as well.

I mentioned above that I did not want to drill holes into our cabinets so you might be wondering how I have affixed everything. Simple — velcro! I bought this package from Amazon since buying a 4 pack was more cost effective. These have little pull tabs so that you can easily remove them should you need to make a change. These are perfect for us since we don’t want to damage our kitchen in any way. They are strong and hold a lot of weight.

We have some other plans for this area but wanted to give you an update. Do you use a similar system in your home? My hope is that this can evolve with us as we grow our family (someday..no time soon haha). How do you keep your papers/bills/stamps/calendar/etc organized? Give me ALL the tips! xo

Holiday Traditions: St. Patrick’s Day

We all hate to hear that we are “just like” our parents, right? I think when we hear that phrase, we immediately cringe because all we can think about are the things that annoy us about our parents. Now that I’m getting up there in age, I hear that I am “just like” my Mom and Dad way too often, however, when I really sit down and think about it, I decide to take it as a compliment. There are SO many traits that my parents have that I would be lucky to have. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how much my Mom has taught me about being a good hostess, giving great gifts, and celebrating the holidays. When I throw a party, people always rave about how great everything looks and they wonder how I did it. Well, it’s simple. I got it from my mama.

Growing up, I was excited about every holiday because my Mom always made a big deal about them. Even the “small” holidays got a special table cloth or confetti decor. I would wake up the morning of Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day and I would rush downstairs to see what goodies my Mom had for us in the kitchen. She always decorated after we went to bed the night before so waking up was kind of like a mini-Christmas morning. This was especially fun because right after seeing this and eating breakfast, I usually had to head straight to school. Looking back, I felt like she must have spent so much time working on decorating our house for these holidays but now that I am older, I can see that it was the small things that I really remember. This post is all about recreating some things that my Mom used to do to make St. Patrick’s Day seem extra important. I hope that you can use some of these tips and tricks to help make the day special for you and your family. What holiday traditions are you hoping to recreate for your kids?

Holiday Traditions: St. Patricks Day

Holiday Traditions: St. Patrick's Day

Tip #1

Purchase items that you can use over and over again. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make an impression. I plan to reuse the hanging twirly guys next year as well as the confetti since I have nearly an entire baggie left over. I also saved the marshmallows just in case but I have a feeling MJ will eat those before next year. As for the gold coins, you can grab a bag of these for $1 at Walgreen’s. I wouldn’t recommend saving them but they are very easy to acquire year after year. When you’re done using all of these decorations, place them in a box or big zip lock bag and put them in a safe place to use for next year.

Holiday Traditions: St. Patrick's Day

Tip #2

Use what you already have! My table runner is one that I already had. If you have something that will work, use it! I also already had the votive holders (thanks to my wedding registry) and the candles inside were just vanilla candles from [Read more…]